Stuff Annie has Destroyed

As anyone who has ever owned a puppy will tell you, they like to chew stuff. Now having a puppy is one thing, and we thought we had done a pretty good job of puppy proofing our house when we got Annie. As we would come to learn, puppy-proof did not mean Annie-proof.

I decided it would be fun to recount a partial list of items that Annie has destroyed, or at least attempted to destroy. I thought it would be a quick project. I was wrong.

Annie, like any puppy, didn’t mean to destroy beloved items. I doubt she even knew that any item was more or less valuable than any other. I could wax philosophical about  dogs not caring for the perceived value of things, but I think I can sum up her lack of appreciation for the finer things in life in a far simpler way: She’s a dog.

Technically, the word dog means a male of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris, though it is generally acceptable to to use the word dog when referencing either gender. The proper term for a female is bitch. Accurate though it may be, I must admit to taking a certain sophomoric pleasure in referring to Annie in this way. The kids both enjoy reporting that the word is applicable “in both ways!” when I abuse it. Luckily that only happens three or four times a day since I promised to cut back on the profanity.

I’ve tried to come up with a proper sub-subspecies classification for Annie. Canis lupus ferretus familiaris comes to mind, but I struggled with the male/female nomenclature. Ferret-bitch just doesn’t roll off the tongue like ferret-dog does, and neither is as satisfying as the single word when discovering a ruined antique.

Regardless of what I call her, she’s eaten, chewed or flat-out destroyed some pretty interesting things. Here’s a partial list:

Numerous kitchen utensils – Two spatulas, two wooden spoons and numerous other utensils. She took these out of the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink! Sometimes I think there is something to be said for having a small dog.

One Bratz doll – I’m actually sort of OK with this one since I dislike Bratz dolls and everything they seem to represent. That is, until I look closer at the partially dismembered, headless naked doll. Her legs were chewed off up to the knees. These dolls are disturbing enough already since they don’t’ have any feet, but to see the calves chewed off was just short of horrifying. One arm survived, but the head was chewed off of the body and discarded like it just didn’t matter. I think my reaction to this one might be just the push I needed to seek therapy.

The cord for the vacuum – Luckily, it wasn’t plugged in at the time. Luckily we were able to get it fixed. Do you have any idea what a house with a Newfie or two in it looks like when the vacuum is out for repair, even for just a few days? 

Hats – We’re not sure why, but Annie likes to eat hats. We like to psychoanalyze our dogs, so we assume she likes them because they smell like us. I think she just likes to destroy things, but that’s just me.

Every crayon that’s ever entered our house – Either Annie is a frustrated artist, or crayons taste better then I ever imagined. I’m not about to start tasting my children’s writing implements – especially the ones that have been in Annie’s mouth – so I’m going to go with the artist thing.

Every pencil too – Pencils I can understand. They’re nothing more than little yellow sticks after all, so I give Annie a pass on the pencils.

A screwdriver – Annie steps into the dangerous realm of eating Daddy’s things by destroying one of my tools.  I have to admit that I’m impressed she could do so much damage to the handle of a tool.

A wooden flute – This one hit home for the girls after I had told them the tale of my Saint Bernard who, back in the 70s, ate my wooden flute that had been hand-made in Czechoslovakia . Why a boy in the 70s would have a wooden flute in the first place is simply not germane to the story at hand.

A sickening amount of chocolate – Chocolate is bad for dogs. Don’t let your dog eat chocolate. Put the chocolate where your dogs cannot reach it. If you have a dog like Annie, that means buying a safe, and it better have a complex locking mechanism, because she’ll just figure it out otherwise. Annie ate all of the Valentine’s Day chocolate one year – from the middle of the dining room table.

Small wooden turtles – When traveling in Germany I found these small hand-carved wooden turtles that I thought were wonderful. They had bodies that were just a large wooden ball. When you rolled the ball, the turtles rolled forward. Clever old-world goodness. Apparently they were quite tasty too.

A Wii controller – You know, the $50 wave-’em-in-the-air controllers for the Nintendo Wii. She destroyed one. The cable was completely severed and frayed on both ends. The plastic controllers were covered with teeth marks. Of course this was the day after I bought them, so the pain of their loss was felt even more than if they had been old.

Numerous cardboard boxes – I have no idea what the attraction was, but she completely destroyed multiple cardboard boxes. I would keep them near the fireplace, then cut them up and use them for kindling. It turns out that they’re harder to get burning when covered in drool. Who knew?

A beloved Nintendo DS-Lite – My girls each have a Nintendo DS-Lite that they bought with their own money. They saved for quite some time to buy the $100 hand-held video game machines. Colleen left hers on the couch one day, and Annie must have thought it was filled with candy because she apparently tried for hours to get inside the thing. We were all very impressed that the DS-Lite continued to function for years after being thoroughly chewed and slobbered upon.

A beloved Nintendo DS-Lite game – The games for the DS-Lite are just a bit larger than a US postage stamp. They cost about $50 each and get left around much to my annoyance. Apparently they taste wonderful, because Annie chewed one for hours before we found her with it. As you can see in the photo, the game was a total loss.

A library book –  We’re not sure if Annie was just bored and decided to eat the book, or if she actually read the book and chewed it as a criticism of the contents. Either way, we weren’t happy. We had to confess to the library that our deranged puppy ate the book. They were not impressed by our tale of woe, nor of the description of adorable puppy antics. Those fascist librarians actually made us pay for the book! Stupid accountability…

Another beloved book – Seriously – lay off the books already! James Herriot? C’mon… We love books in our house, and we don’t take kindly to them being eaten. We don’t let the kids eat them, so why should Annie get away with it?

A camera case – Luckily it was only a case for a small point and shoot camera, and it wasn’t mine. Most importantly, we’re thankful that the camera wasn’t in the case, which is an odd thing to write since I’m constantly harping on the kids to put things in their cases.

Numerous water bottles – I can’t really blame her for these. They crunch when she bites them, they pop out of her mouth and skate across the floor like a frightened rabbit just begging to be pounced on once more. Plus, they’re not prized family heirlooms – at least not that I’m aware of.

938 bags of trash – Annie loves trash, but then you probably knew that. If not, you can read about Annie and the Shower Trash. If you don’t feel like reading, just look at the mess for yourself.

A bicycle helmet – This one ranks high on the list of items I would have never thought a dog would chew. Still Annie is no normal dog. She didn’t ruin the helmet, though helmets are supposed to be replaced after any significant trauma. I’d say that being chewed by Annie qualifies as Trauma. Hell, I’d say that spending time with the ferret-beast qualifies as trauma on some days.

A “wedding bear” –  Most of the stuff that was destroyed was left out by the kids. If you leave things out where Annie can reach them, then you can safely expect Annie to destroy them. This bear was from our wedding, and was about 15 years old. Not only did she cross the line by touching our stuff, she had to have gone out of her way to take it and maul it with her sharp little ferret-puppy teeth. The bear was on a windowsill, supposedly out of the puppy-zone. With a Newfoundland, the puppy-zone extends about six feet off of the floor. Lesson learned.

One tub of cream cheese – Annie wasn’t here a week before she started pilfering our refrigerated dairy products. It was also one of the first items I posted when I first started this blog. You can read it here: Annie and the Cream Cheese. Oh, and of course that should read one tub of cream cheese – that we know of.

Girl Scout SWAPs – Old news to frequent readers of this page, but for those who haven’t read the tale, you can read about Annie the Girl Scout.

271 blue foam earplugs – When I sleep at night, I generally sleep with ear plugs. I got in the habit when traveling since hotels seem incapable of providing a quiet environment for sleeping. Once I got used to sleeping in the blessed quiet, I discovered that my own house was filled with snoring, snorting, and sneezing at night. And then when the dogs come in it gets even worse! The earplugs I like kept disappearing, but I figured I was just misplacing them or they were rolling under the bed. That was until I found them in the back yard days later. I can be frugal when I have to be, but I considered them to be a total loss.

Jenga blocks – Another case of  the “put the wooden toys away or Annie will eat them” rule being realized. Now you know why I put my fine chess pieces in a box up on a high shelf when they’re not in use.

Universal remote control – Do you know hoe much a good universal remote costs? I’m not talking one of those 5-in-1 jobs from Radio Shack – This was a nice model that cost a cool fifty bucks. I suppose I should be happy that she didn’t eat the $150 one, but I guess that’s what happens when you put things away where they belong. Of course there’s more to read about The Death of a Remote Control.

Candles – One day after my kids had gone to a candle-making event at camp, they left their hand-made candles safely on the kitchen counter. Annie chewed one to pieces that night. Annie also chewed one of Lauren’s nice beeswax candles that was also safely on the counter. I think we need higher counters. Did I mention that Lauren’s candle was used for a Girl Scout bridging ceremony – last week!

Two screen doors – It’s funny how the passage of time makes us forget. While compiling a list of things that and has destroyed, I totally forgot about Annie and the Screen Door. It wasn’t until this very morning, while editing this article one last time, that I thought to include the first screen door. You’d think that the constant influx of moths would have reminded me that she ruined the second door after only 18 hours.

I’d like to think that Annie is growing up, and that her desire for the destruction of properly is waning. I’m sure we’ll look back fondly on these memories in the future. That’s not much consolation for a nine-year-old when her favorite toy gets eaten. It is also, as of yet, simply not true.

Early this week Annie ate an egg of Silly Putty. She didn’t actually consume the putty, but she chewed the egg to pieces. Just yesterday Annie broke into the bread drawer again and ate half of a loaf of Wonder Bread. Annie is two! Look at the photo of her on the top of this page. Does she look like a puppy to you? Last week she ate a candle.

I thought that this would be a quick piece. I thought that I’d be done in an hour. Every time I had Lauren proof-read, she remembered more items. The more items we remembered, the more pictures I took. After many hours of this, the list had tripled in size. At almost 2200 words, I finally decided to stop. Perhaps next time I’ll try a shorter article entitled “Things Annie has not Eaten”.

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8 thoughts on “Stuff Annie has Destroyed

  1. Good grief! this is the puppy that will be visiting me in a month or so and no way can this wee house of mine be totally “Annie Proof”.
    My son, I will go to the hotel and you can stay here and be with the “dogs from hell”.
    No wonder you have Zombies in the woods–they want whatever it is that Annie has not eaten & are just waiting for a chance to get out of the woods and beat Annie to the treats..


  2. You mean that Annie has not shredded a couch or upholstered chair yet? If not, consider yourself lucky.
    Or it might be another one you forgot!

    Again, great stories.

  3. what about the cheeseburger? you forgot the cheeseburger…oh and the 157 tubs of butter she has devoured

    1. You know, the more we tried to compile a list, the more we knew it would be endless. It does make me happy that people have read enough stories to recognize when something is missing though! Thanks for the comments.

  4. Cad, Thanks for the laughs, Annie is beautiful.
    I have a new almost five month old male Newfi named Buster, all black and all boy, he is
    a real joy.and not the least bit distrutive at home or any where we go. We just came back
    from a long vacation by van and not one miniute of trouble.
    He loves children and swimming / hiking, playing ball and will lay at my feet for hours as
    I fish.
    We have a full schedule everyday that keeps us both to busy for mischef and when he
    says it is time for bed I am more than ready ha ha ha.
    Good luck with Annie.

    Rev. Betty Jo Polley

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